EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Maybe some frog toes might have helped

Good thing this little exercise was really about trying to feel out which way to go with my collection of 54's. The rules were, well, ok but just. At the very least they need some tweaking to extend the life expectancy of units, add flavour and give players more to think about. However, rules aside, the game did what I wanted and helped me decide where this should go.

Turn Three. The Black Horse begin a charge on the gun but are handily repulsed with little damage on either side. 
There were a number of things I had been mulling about but the three biggest questions were: 

a) Since I already have more figures than I can squeeze into my NorthWest campaign in its current format and since there are a limited number of scenarios that fit within the setting and premise,  can I reasonably make it bigger or could I do some thing else that would compliment it using mostly what I already have in the way of figures and moulds?

b ) I am already tired of chasing single 54's around on uneven terrain so did I want to stick with flat terrain, single figures and small forces or give in to the urge to mount them on bases again and use the cloth over the hills terrain? If so should I go with Morschauser's proposed 4 infantry in 2 ranks on a base like I am tempted or go with larger units which is an attractive thought and what should units look like for the two different campaigns?   In any case the bases would have to allow units to occupy my new standard houses or in other words fit within a 60x60mm foot print.

c) Since using more figures per unit would allow me to use more of my collection to play exactly the same games using the gridded Tin Army is that a good option or is there a better way to have the North West game feel like small forces skirmishing on the wide Prairie and have a different game that feels more like a battle between armies and possibly be able to get double use out of figures by having basing and organization be compatible? 

First blood for the NorthWest Lancers! 
As I have mentioned previously, I originally started casting 54's for an 1860's British vs US game whether intervention in the Civil War, enhanced Fenian raids or just Toy Soldier Silliness. After looking at what I have on hand, it just makes sense to gracefully pick up where I left off fifteen years ago, but with 12 figure battalions instead of 24 given my 1/2 size table.  This will use basically all of what I have  on hand or have moulds for with room for only a few purchases such as artillery pieces needed and will allow virtually any scenario I want to tackle.  My 40's will have to content themselves with the War of 1812 and the Great Atlantican War of 1902. My 20mm ACW armies will again be nudged towards Brigades as units and bigger battles.
Less than 1/2 way into the game the US sort of ran out of units and I called it off.
I have a great fondness for Morschauser style 4 figure bases, especially if each is a unit, but there are issues. For the Prairies they just don't look like the iconic long lines of skirmishers one sees in the prints. That look is vital so the Prairie portion must have a single rank option. Back in August I decided that I liked 6 figure units with 3 figures in a single rank on a 60mmx30mm base. They didn't fit well with the Square Brigadier or 4 inch grid squares so I dropped them but they are just too useful and it will be easier to adjust the rules or the grid. The 3 figure bases are coming back then whether on a 5" grid or without a grid. Armies in the east will have 12 man battalions in 2 ranks with up to a dozen or more units on table, while those in the west will have to content themselves with 1/2 dozen 6 figure companies in a single rank.

My first plan, back in August.
Rules? We'll have to wait and see!

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